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ON DUTY DEATHS – Stats Can


April 17, 2014
By Geoff Gurrie

A civilized society strives to have a democratically elected government. That government rules by law. The government relies heavily on federal, provincial and municipal police to uphold and enforce those laws, across the nation. Sometimes referred to as the “Thin Blue Line”, the police in Canada have sworn duties (a mile long), in keeping the peace and defending justice for the citizens of Canada .

The killing of an on-duty Police officer is a serious offence against the rule of law! Dying in the service of the Government of Canada must be considered with the utmost attention. Recently it appears in a Brampton court house there was an attempt to murder a Peel Region on-duty police officer. I believe scrutiny of occurrences leading to culpable homicide of on-duty police or injuries should be paramount.

Recently I put in a request to Stats Can for statistics into the number of officer killed in the line of duty and the manner in which they died. The finished report ( Statcan 85-002-X , Fall 2010 ) which I received was the latest figures they had for release and concluded in 2010.

I believe the Stats Can report fails to report or omits at least eleven “on-duty Police” deaths due to criminal negligence or manslaughter. It may be as many as seventeen were killed by a culpable homicide as per the Criminal Code section 222 . From at total of 133 officers killed on-duty between 1961 and 2009 the omitted or missing would be somewhere near or above ten per cent .

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The report contains the word “murder” eight times, including in the title the word “homicide” which appears nineteen times and twice there are charts derived from a “Homicide Survey.” The interchange between “murder” and “homicide” throughout the three pages is often an error. All murders are homicides, however NOT all culpable homicides are murders. Attached ( I hope ) are 15 questions I am challenging anyone to provide accurate answers too.

1) How many on-duty Police ( including Auxillary officers ) were killed by a Culpable Homicide? – How many by criminal negligence?
– how many by manslaughter?
– how many by 2nd degree murder?
– how many by 1st degree murder?
– other?

2) How many incidence of death by homicide of all on-duty Peace Keepers have occurred to cause the above total?

3) How many on-duty Police were killed by gunfire ( homicidal )? How many were RCMP?

4) How many separate incidence generated the above total?

5) How many times were rifles / shotguns used to kill?, How many times a handgun?

6) How many guns were lawfully possessed by the shooter ( licensed )?

Regarding on-duty Police Injuries

7) How many Police were injured in the course of performing their sworn duties, due to a Culpable offence ( assault, assault with a weapon, criminal negligence, attempted murder etc )?

8) How many incidence generated the above total of injured on-duty Police?

9) How many injuries were as a result of gunfire?

10) How many incidence for above gunfire injuries?

11) How many incidence involved a rifle / shotgun? How many involved a handgun?

12) How many gunfire injuries were caused by a person ( the shooter ), in lawful possession of the gun used to cause the injuries ( licensed )?

I have been surprised by the lack of accuracy and absence of much detail on the subject given the role police play as a foundation of a civilized society. How does a government draft “Public or Community” Safety legislation if it has virtually NO idea what is happening out on the front lines?

Thank you for your time and concern.

Geoff Currie
Toronto ON